An appeal, drafted by the Hands Off Venezuela Campaign  and signed by the national leadership of the new trade union confederation UNT.  Use it to raise the issue of recognizing the UNT within the trade union movement internationally. Move resolutions at your trade union branches and congresses. You can use as a model the resolution passed at the Congress of the FIOM-CGIL Lombardia.

In spite of the blatant fraud of the opposition, the decision has been taken to go ahead with the recall referendum in Venezuela. This has disappointed some layers of the Bolivarian movement and enraged others. Many have gone along with it out of their loyalty to Chavez. The decision is a serious mistake. Jorge Martin looks at the what the movement should do now.

A massive rally in Caracas by supporters of the Bolivarian Revolution on Sunday marked the beginning of the campaign for the recall referendum in Venezuela. This came after the announcement on Thursday, June 3, by the National Electoral Council (CNE), that the opposition had collected enough signatures to trigger the presidential recall referendum. On the same day, president Chavez accepted the decision and called on revolutionaries to wage what he described as the “Santa Ines” Battle and soundly defeat the counter-revolutionaries in the recall referendum.

In a packed mass meeting in the El Valle area of Caracas, the working people elected their own local Comando Maisanta as part of the struggle to defeat the opposition in the August 15 presidential recall referendum. This was an extraordinary gathering, which demonstrated the superiority of the democracy of working people and the enormous capacity of the revolutionary masses to create forms of organization which guarantee the necessary unity and discipline of the movement, based on democratic debate and decision-making.

All attention is now centred on the forthcoming August 15th recall referendum. The "opposition" has all kinds of tricks it can play, but one thing is sure: the masses are gearing up to defend the revolution. Unfortunately there are elements within the leadership of the movement who are trying to hold back the masses. Jorge Martin and William Sanabria, in Caracas, report on what is happening and look at the possible developments.

“Socialism advances, capitalism retreats!” “Workers’ councils now!”, “For a decent wage!”, “Oil workers demand a decent contract!”, “Co-management is revolution”. These were some of the slogans which show the class struggle, militant and revolutionary mood of the enormous workers’ demonstration on May Day in Caracas. Hundreds of thousands of workers from all over the country assembled in the Avenida Nueva Granada, where La Bandera coach station is situated, to march to Avenida Urdaneta. This May Day celebration was marked by an upbeat mood in the working class, with the recent victories at Venepal (now Invepal), CNV (now Inveval), Arichuna, and the growing mobilisation in companies such as ALCASA [aluminium plant], CADAFE [electricity company], etc. This enormous mobilisation reveals how the working class is firmly entering the scene, in order to play its historical role in the building of socialism.